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Former World-Herald employee predicted Braves as World Series champs in 2018
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Former World-Herald employee predicted Braves as World Series champs in 2018

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World Series Baseball

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker holds up the trophy after winning the 2021 World Series.

Each year, the World-Herald does a Major League Baseball season preview. And in 2018, we had an idea.

The Astros were coming off a title in 2017, and the Sports Illustrated cover story in 2014 became somewhat famous. Houston slugger George Springer was taking a big swing with the headline: “YOUR 2017 WORLD SERIES CHAMPS.”

SI pulled it off. Why don’t we take a swing?

In 2018, we published our picks — for who would win the 2021 World Series. Yes, that was plural picks. We submitted four choices and stated our case for who would win.

And on Tuesday night, we had a winner. And a winning prognosticator.

Former OWH deputy digital editor Steven Elonich wrote in 2018: “The Braves have lost 278 games since 2015 -- more than any three-year stretch by the franchise since 1988 through 1990, which directly preceded 14 consecutive division titles.

The Cubs lost 377 games from 2011 through 2014, more than any four-year stretch in franchise history, and the Astros lost 416 in the same span — also a franchise worst. Those two teams have something in common the last two seasons: a World Series title.

Now it's the Braves' turn, and the numbers back up that rock bottom may be nearing its end. The ascent to the top is already in progress behind established stars like Freddie Freeman, up-and-coming players like Dansby Swanson, and a loaded farm system, ranked second by MLB.

Attribute some of it to more hitter-friendly SunTrust Park, which opened in 2017, but the Braves upped their home run total from 122 in 2016 to 165 and increased run production by 11 percent, even with none of their top five home run hitters playing more than 117 games.”

Elonich was told he didn’t actually win anything, other than pride.

"Sorry, I'm keeping the 2024 lottery numbers to myself," Elonich said Wednesday.


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